Where To Check Your Credit Score And Get A Credit Report

Date Jun 29, 2021
Blog category Kiwisaver
By Khristine Eusebio
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Your credit record is important in understanding your credit score and history. This will make you more reliable and eligible in the eyes of banks and lending companies in the future.

What can I expect from my credit record?

Your credit record will contain the number of times you've been given credit by a bank or company, as well as how often you paid your dues in time. In addition, your credit record usually has information about your repayment history for up to 2 years.

If you have unpaid debts and the lenders tried to take back the money you owed them, they can appear on your record for up to 5 years — regardless if you've already settled these debts in full.

How do I know if I've had credit?

You have credit if you've done the following:

  • got a loan
  • requested an overdraft from your bank
  • used your credit card to purchase something
  • needed a payday advance
  • purchased something on hire purchase

Aside from these, your payment history for other bills might also be included in your record. This includes bills such as electricity, gas, mobile plans, etc.

You probably won't have a record if you're under 18 or you've never applied for credit.

If you have a credit record, you have the rights to:

  • request for a copy of your credit record
  • correct any wrong information on your record if there's any
  • ask for your credit file to be "frozen" and not released to anyone unless they have your permission
  • complain to the credit reporting company

Who checks my record?

The following can check your credit record:

  • Credit reporting agencies can disclose your credit record to debt collectors
  • If you're involved in a court proceeding, people against you are allowed to see your credit record
  • Some government agencies are also allowed to check your record without your permission
  • As part of the lending process, lenders check your credit record to decide if they can lend you money or not
  • Other people and organizations can only have access to your credit record with your permission

What's a credit score?

A credit score is a number between 0 and 1,000 assigned to people based on several factors, including how punctual you are when it comes to paying your bills on time. This score shows how banks and others lenders see you and how high your chances are of getting approved by them.

The majority of credit scores range from 300 and 850, and the higher your score is, the better your credit rating is. A good score also means getting better offers and perks from banks, utility providers, insurance companies, and more.

Scores and what it means:

Zero: A zero score means there's something negative on your credit record, like a payment default, or you might have a court judgment or bankruptcy. Banks might have also declined you on your credit inquiries. Aside from those, as simple as paying your bills late can decrease your credit score.

You can still increase your credit score and have a better credit history, but you will need to work for it over the next two years or longer.

1 - 299: Factors as to why your score is this low may be similar to those who scored zero, especially late payments and getting declined on your credit application.

300 - 499: This score is not completely bad but still needs some improvement. Why you have this score doesn't mean it has anything to do with late payments on your file. It could also mean you're in the younger age bracket, which most lenders see as riskier, or have applied to credit providers whose services are mainly for higher-risk customers.

500 - 699: If you're in this bracket, it could mean you don't have enough information on your credit history, and there's no negative data on your record, or your good history with your current credit provider hasn't been reported yet. Other factors such as your age and where you live may also be considered.

700 - 799: This is generally a good score, and it indicates that you most likely pay your bills on time but have a couple of credit inquiries or loan applications. This may also indicate that you're just new to credit, so you're not qualified to get a higher score bracket yet.

800 - 1000: Older people are most likely to get this score range. They are consistent in paying their bills on time or sometimes even before its due date, and they most likely have a mortgage and/or an investment property.

How can I check my credit record and score?

Did you know that you can have access to your credit record for free? However, unless you need it immediately, you will need to pay for a report. You can request for a copy of your credit report online. Please note that they will have to verify your identity first so make sure to provide complete and accurate information.

Your credit information is essential as companies, banks, and lenders will use this to determine whether you're qualified to borrow money or get insurance.

You can get a copy of your credit score from either one of the three credit reporting companies in New Zealand:

Centrix

Centrix has been providing services to Kiwis and Kiwi businesses for more than ten years now. They offer comprehensive credit reporting for both individuals and businesses and suppress your credit file.

Illion

illion is one of the leading independent providers of data and analytics products and services, such as in New Zealand and Australia. It also owns Credit Simple, a consumer marketplace that provides Kiwis access to their credit score and credit file for free! Just simply sign up on their website to get access.

Equifax

Equifax is one of New Zealand's leading credit reporting companies. Get your credit report from Equifax and find out your credit history for free and delivered within ten business days, or get them in just three business days when you choose their My Credit File Express.

Products offered:

My Credit File

If you're not in a rush, you can get your credit report for free. They dispatch it within ten business days.

My Credit File Express

This option is best if you need access to your credit report right away. They can deliver it to you within three business days.

My Credit Alert

If you want to keep track of your credit record, you can subscribe to this option. Aside from your credit report, you'll get your Equifax Score Rating, directorship details, receive alerts if there are any changes on your credit report, and have protection against identity theft.

Other credit reporting companies you can check:

  • credit simple
  • Genoapay

What if there's something wrong with my credit record?

As mentioned, if you find any incorrect information on your credit record, you have the right to request credit reporting companies to correct your information.

Some details to check on your record:

  • Check if there are any credit accounts you never applied for.
  • Check if your identification details are accurate.
  • Check if there are any payment defaults you weren't aware of or credit inquiries you never approved.

Keeping your credit score good helps make borrowing and applying for loans easier, especially if you need it for an emergency. Aside from that, there are also other options such as KiwiSaver and investing to secure a financial future.

If you're looking for a Personal Loan, you can easily compare and find the best rates for FREE here at CompareBear!

About the author
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Khristine Eusebio

Khristine E. is an all-around creative who has dabbled in different fields, including advertising and social media. She spends her free time exploring TikTok and the weird corners of the internet.

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